Beginning in 1862, the various Homestead Acts provided Americans with new opportunities to own, settle, farm, cultivate and populate what was then a wide open, unclaimed American frontier (Native American interests notwithstanding, of course).  The young country was looking for ways to grow and spread.  There was (literally) a lot of room out there and a lot of opportunity (and risk) for self-starters, dreamers and businesspeople to carve out new lives, new opportunities, new satisfactions and new ways to make money.

The Internet, the online world, the networked globe we now live in, is also wide open and fairly unclaimed.  Even though the number of websites, apps, solutions and platforms has grown exponentially over the years, the Internet is still in its nascent stage, with plenty of room . . . for you, me and all of those little morsels of ideas we may be toying with.

This Homestead analogy comes from Dan Abrams, TV correspondent, legal commentator and online entrepreneur. I like how he put it in a recent New York Times article:

“I like the feeling that I’m on the right side of history.  I think the Internet is comparable to the Homestead Act: Here’s a parcel of land,

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The law is not your friend

. . . if you want to leave it.  The practice of law as you know it (and that little unhelpful fearful lizard brain voice in your head) can make you feel resigned to your fate, pigeonholed, stuck in a niche.  They tell you that you can’t do much of anything else.  They tell you that you can’t be “intellectually stimulated” anywhere else.  They tell you that the other options are beneath you.

The practice of law as you know it and that little unhelpful fearful lizard brain voice in your head want to keep you where you are.  And this may be far, far away from your passion and happiness.

Those aren’t good friends.

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